Joy-less Christmas: Part 1

It's that time of the year again! Where many folks are "joyful" and excited, but yet there are many of us who aren't.

Whether it's your first time feeling "meh" about Christmas or you're an old pro at it, your feelings are understandable - no matter the reason.

And here's the kicker - you may not even have a reason for feeling indifferent, down, or even sad about Christmas this year. You may or may not know why you're feeling joy-less when so many want (or expect) you to feel joyful. Here's what most people miss:

Joy is not happiness

My friend Eric Beavers said that. And I will never, ever, ever stop quoting him on it. Nothing could be more true. He follows it up with this: "Happiness is based on what's happening." Again, more truth that escapes many of us. Happiness is a internal state that is affected by external circumstances. It is an emotion inside of us that is directly influenced by something going on (typically) outside of us. And for some of us - even at this time of year - there aren't a lot of "happy" things happening out in the world or in our own immediate world. I'm not even going to attempt to put together a list. You know what that thing is (or those multiple things are) for you.

There's a lot of general craziness going on in the world in addition to personal pressures, losses, stresses, anxieties, and problems. Sometimes it's hard - if not impossible - to take our focus off of those things and find something to be joyful about. I get it. And here is what I want you to know:

1) It's okay. 2) You are seen. 3) More importantly, you are not alone.

Take solace in that. Find just a little peace in knowing that it's okay not to be Buddy-the-Elf excited about Christmas all the time (if at all). And please know that you're not the only one that feels the way you do. The world we live in today - driven by social media - typically only shows you everyone "living their best life" - all while behind the scenes they're just putting on a happy face. They're putting on a show. They want you to think everything is going great when it's actually not. They, too, have an emptiness inside.

So for part one of this quick little series, let's start there. Let's start with acknowledging the fact that we may be having a joy-less Christmas and we may or may not know why. And let's accept that fact that it's perfectly okay for us - and for others - to feel that way.

Let's talk more next time about that emptiness... about that "something" that's missing... about that longing inside for more.